Chef Tom Kerridge has reignited the ‘cream or jam first’ debate just in time for summer.
The Michelin-starred chef, who owns celebrated gastro-pub The Hand and Flowers, has re-lit the touch paper on an argument that has garnered opinion from a host of celebrities including the doyenne of baking Mary Berry.
Kerridge, who famously shed 12 stone after turning to healthy eating, piped up on Twitter that it was ‘bonkers’ to suggest that the jam should be spread on a scone before the cream.
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Brave man: Chef Tom Kerridge, who’s been in the US in recent weeks, waded into the cream vs scone debate on Twitter saying he was a ‘#creamfirst’ man
Comedy star Dawn French, a passionate advocate for a layer of jam beneath a layer of cream on the traditional afternoon tea leapt in, writing: ‘#jamfirst. Always. Come to the light, darlin’
The chef wrote: ‘You’re bonkers mate…. it’s definitely cream first, and a truckload of it!! #creamfirst’
He was responding to comedian Dawn French, a passionate advocate of the Cornish way, which is to put jam on first.
She had written: ‘Of course you are at liberty to stack your scone with the cream first, should you prefer….just as you are at liberty to lick Satan’s bum. Your choice. If it were me, I’d do it the RIGHT way… #jamfirst. Always. Come to the light, darlin.’
Last summer, it appeared Mary Berry had defused the debate by saying it was possible to be in camp ‘Devon’ or ‘Cornwall’.
Mary, 84, offered a third option to lovers of afternoon tea – but Kerridge remains resolute that jam first is the only way, saying the cream would ‘slide off’ if it had to sit on a layer of jam.
The cook, oft-described as the ‘queen of baking’, controversially said that she puts jam first, and then clotted cream in the Cornish style on one side of her scone, and then cream followed by jam on the other side, as Devonshire dwellers do.
It came after Philip Schofield, who grew up in Cornwall, proved how fierce the debate was after he was criticised for a snap where he is enjoying scones that have jam on top of the cream in the Devon style.
Mary Berry (pictured at the Cath Kidston Largest Cream Tea Party in 2018) often wades into intense baking debates and last year offered her verdict on the jam or cream first on a scone, saying both!
Last year’s cake war: Daytime TV host Philip Schofield was criticised for enjoying some scones in the Devon style with cream on the bottom followed by jam (left), despite growing up in Cornwall
The host of This Morning committed the faux pas after uploading a picture to Instagram in support of Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital for the NHS’s 70th anniversary.
He received an angry backlash from fans who accused him of forgetting his Cornish roots.
Kay Gough wrote: ‘I thought you’re supposed to be a Cornish boy! Sort it out. Jam first. The proper Cornish way!’
The daytime TV host enjoyed some in the traditional Cornish fashion however with jam first, and cream on top.
Usually, afternoon tea fans have a Marmite-esque attitude when it comes to putting jam or cream first on a scone, and never switch between the two.
But Mary Berry is offering a peaceful solution to the issue which divides Britain, which could solve tensions between the southwestern counties of Devon and Cornwall once and for all.
Jam first or cream? Cornish cream tea lovers put jam first on their scones, while in Devon, it is only acceptable to spread the cream first before jam
Mary told Country Living as she hosted the Cath Kidston World’s Largest Cream Tea Party at Alexandra Palace in north London last weekend that she opts for the diplomatic approach to garnishing scones as she is ‘fairly neutral’ about most things in life.
The 83-year-old added that the reason for her unusual application of cream and jam is so she doesn’t ‘upset anyone in either Devon or Cornwall’.
DOES SCONE RHYME WITH ‘GONE’ OR ‘CONE’?
A 2016 YouGov poll stated the key to answer was all down to where you grew up.
Those who rhyme the word with gone predominantly live in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, whereas those who pronounce it like cone are found in Southern Ireland, London and the Midlands.
However she hasn’t always sat on the fence with her opinions on scones. Last year, she told Varsity magazine that she prefers to spread jam on her scone before cream.
But she also added that afternoon tea fans should ‘do what they want’ – and clearly, she has come around to the Devon way of thinking in the last 12 months.
Mary also revealed that the perfect scone must be made on the day it is eaten, and needs a ‘wet mixture’ to rise properly.
She said: ‘Often when children make them at school, they are handling it so much and it’s usually rather dry so they don’t get a good result.
‘Scones should be a wet mixture that sticks to your hands and then handled very little before it’s cut out and then it wants to be baked at a high temperature for a fairly short time.’
In May, Mary also reignited the debate about how to pronounce ‘scone’ on her show, Britain’s Best Home Cook.
The cooking doyenne said that the word must rhyme with ‘gone’ and not ‘cone’.